Monday, October 29, 2012

Silencing the voice: targeted for removal? You be the judge.

This blog is getting over 1000 hits a month, not counting the hits that would be counted when Andy or I log on to post.

Recently I got kicked out of GRH4V, the results of my blowing my top over something that should have never triggered it.. but hey, we all make mistakes..  I WAY WAY over reacted. Everyone blows steam once in a while and I did with this one because I saw something happening that was not, or so I thought.  My fault. No big deal right? Wrong. They think differently.

The question is, was this member targeted, and the incident set up to solicit such as response from the member? You decide.

Look at this picture. The yellow areas are for visitors, the pink areas for staff, and the blue for members. 

Just one problem. Staff and Clinic people park in members areas.

There are about 20 members that have their own cars. Some have handicap plates or window permits that allow them to park in the handicap area, The blue and yellow line above the main parking lot.

Members are supposed to park in the first row, (blue line) and the small lot out back (circled blue).

But it is difficult to park there when staff fills up the first row, and Government vehicles from the VA clinic are parked in the small lot in back. PLUS there is the extra need of members to be able to carry things from their cars to the building. A distance of about 100 yards in if you are in the small back lot.

Now some members were parking their cars in the visitors section by the chapel entrance. (Yellow C). There were about 4 or 5 guys parking here. This stretch is reserved for visitors, and for funerals. In the 2 years I was at the home, the only time that area got filled up was when there was both a funeral, AND when the public people were parking there while having a wedding photo shoot in the grotto, which is just north (up) from the picture. The grotto is for members only and technically NOT open to the public. But that is never enforced.

So October 1, 2012, in preparation for this years snow removal, the home started notifying people to move their cars to the proper lots.  But how does a member do so, when their parking spaces are taken up with Employee cars?

Most people found a notice put on their cars like the one below.. 
The last paragraph says "Vehicles found to be in violation of the homes parking policies will be issued one (1) warning citation. Te safety department will make (1) attempt to contact the owner of the vehicle via the PA system. After 30 minutes, the vehicle will be issued a citation and towed off the campus grounds".

Now then. How is one to take this? How does one park in the designated area when the home does not enforce what policy it already has.

Do you see the conflict here?

Well, this is the notice that was posted on many vehicles.

But not all of them.

Some of them, like me, got THIS first.. A warning.  When I saw it I went ballistic. They were threatening to STEAL my car. Why? Because if you are a member here, and you have no income, you get 20 dollars a month for personal use.. Anyone with a pension or what ever, gets to keep 100 a month and that is all. So if they tow the vehicle, the impound tow will cost over 200 bucks, plus the impound lot fee. You are talking 2 to 6 months of saving that 100 dollars, so that you can get your car out of impound. IF the impound lot doesn't charge you a daily fee. IF it does, then you are screwed.. might as well forget getting your car back.
Thus in a way, the home steals your car. And for many of us, our cars are the last thing we own. And I like any other veteran will not allow them to do this.

Another guy got a letter handed to him to remove his vehicle. His truck that sat out in the back lot for 6 years without being bothered.

There are those that think that guy and myself were targeted by the administration in part because of this blog, exposing the criminal acts going on here at the home, and  the abuses to older veterans and their families.   And, because the other guy and I had started a non profit charity called Veterans for Justice and we obtained 501c3 status.  So many are now thinking I got targeted because of that.

Well like I said, i took it the wrong way. I got very very angry and had to blow steam. I really thought those A-holes were going to try to steal my car.  So I photo copied it, and in writing told them that the first person to have my car towed, would be the first to go to the hospital to have their head re-attached.    and that it was not a threat, but a promise.

That was my first time in the 2 years I was at the home, that I lost my temper.

In the members handbook issued to me when I arrived in October 2012, it said that there is a progression before being discharged. 
The issuing paper work from the home claimed I was being discharged for the welfare of other members and employees, and that I was cited for "disrespectful, rude, inappropriate behavior, and general behavior, and Harassment. And this administrations actions was and is disrespectful of veterans.

WHO is harassing who here? And General behavior?   This is the first incident I have had at the home. Other guys go on screaming rants for hours, kicking doors, breaking things and NOTHING happens to them.  Yet I blow steam once and get kicked out.  Guys threaten staff and each other all the time and nothing is done about them doing it. Maybe because they do so verbally and I did mine in writing.

Mind you, I am a cardiac patient, recovering from heart surgery. I can barely walk around the building without needing a nap, let alone be able to beat someone up.  And who would warn someone that they intended to hurt them? 

The administration here has all the records.. Are they really telling folks that they truly believe me to be a big threat to their personal safty considering my medical history and situation?

Are they really that F_ing Stupid?!  Apparently.

Either that or this is a direct result of being targeted for expulsion, because I stand up for veterans rights, I speak out, and I helped form a nonprofit group to help other veterans. And I created this blog, so that others would know what is truly going on here.

   In other words, the greatest fear of the older veterans has been made real: Someone spoke up and got kicked out for doing so. THAT is how they are going to see this. 

This whole scenario was done the wrong way by both parties.. I should have seen it for what it really was, and made an inquiry of how the expected me to park in members parking when THEIR cars were in our spots. Instead, I blew my top.  And again, the question of, did they do what they did, because they wanted me to blow up, giving them a reason to discharge me?  Despite the fact that I had no other incidents in the 2 years I was there?

You decide.

Sara Dunne, what have you done?

I have a question for Sara Dunne.  After serving as acting administrator for over 2 years, just what have you accomplished in that time, that has contributed to increasing the quality of life for the veterans at that facility?

You say you are the right person for this job? Then Sara Dunne, what have you done to justify it?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Members Handbook: The Rules, or just a Guide?

Mac finally got his new phone working, and his old number ported over to it. He called me to day and we talked about a lot of stuff.  One of the things I was shocked to hear about was that the administration of this place doesn't think Members should know what is in the member handbook. At least that is what it seems to be telling us.

Mac, who was kicked out on the 10th of October for his first offense, told me that just a week or so prior, new handbooks came out for the members. And that if a member wanted one, they had to go sign for it.

Sign for it? If the information is critical, and the member should know what is in it, then shouldn't the administration issue copies to each member?

Is this "members handbook" a guide, or the rule? If it is the rule then every Veteran at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans has a inherent right to know what is in the booklet, and should have been issued a copy of the latest edition, IF what is inside is what the administration was going to operate by.

But as we all know, this administration does what it wants, to whom it wants because it has no consistent policy enforcement. Nor has it ever been held accountable for its actions.

I hate to say this.. but it is now quite clear to me, Michigan will be the second State of the Union, (following California) who will be admitting that it cannot or will not care for its Veterans.

Shame on us all.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wrong Meds AGAIN! This is a hospital?

I stopped into the vets home Tuesday, and talked with some of the guys there.
Richard Ware (a subject of this blog), told me they screwed up his medications yet again. This time they gave him the wrong ones and he was kept awake for 3 days 'till they got it right.

This is the 4th or 5th time they have messed with Richards medication. No wonder the guy feels he is in prison. These so called professionals can't even get his medications correct.   How much are taxpayers paying these people?

Makes you think they are overpaid.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another victim of the Thornbury/Murkowski team speaks out.

CJO has left a new comment on your post "Vet Advocate to State AG: Veteran imprisoned at Ve...":

"We also have had a terrible experience with Ms. Thornbury. She was assigned as the trustee of our father's estate in March 2012. During the proceedings she refused to communicate with family members resulting in personal items being sold with the house, she would not let us into the home to grieve our father's death until four months later when she closed on the home. At this time she failed to secure the home and the new owners were already moved in and sleeping there! She failed to ensure the house was locked resulting in several family treasures being stolen and the estate was not reimbursed. When we objected to her final accounting, we took her to court only to have Judge Murkowski side with her. Your statement that your family unit was destroyed rang true for ours as well. Our family will never recover from the financial fallout nor will we ever be a close family again. This all due to Cindy Thornbury's lack of good judgment, poor management of the estate, and failing to communicate with family members. Who is holding these trustees accountable? What a great profession, trustees and guardians. These individuals have carte blanche to do deal with individuals and families in any way he or she feels is fit. There is no one out there holding these individuals accountable. Our court system and Judge Murkowski certainly are not!!"

Sorry to hear about this. There has to be something victims like yourself and Fred and Richard can do to get relief from the wrong doings of those 2 criminals.

I did some research on Michigans' guardian laws, and it seems that people have been trying to get the laws overhauled, and some new checks and balances and accountability sections put into place to prevent the guardians from doing what you have described.

I have seen it first hand what Thornbury does to people. I watched her steal from 2 veteran friends of mine.
I pray Richard Ware gets his justice and is able to obtain his freedom. He feels imprisoned at the home.
Fred, I am sorry to say is in bad shape, and waited too long, and may not make it past another year, due to the devastation the agent orange is doing to his body.

Both are victims of Thornbury and Murkowski.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

2 Bloggers exposing the acts of the administration at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Mac decided to set me up with my own account, so that now what I write, will be credited to me. That is good since that piece of garbage in the front office kicked out  Mac last week. Well, if she ever figures out who I am she may target me. But unlike Mac, I don't use the homes internet. I have my own way of accessing the internet without having to go thru their hacked system.

Why should adults have to go thru a system that restricts where they go?. The internet is supposed to be open, but the way the paranoid staff at GRH4V runs things, you end up thinking you are in one of the state's many prison compounds.

It is pretty clear, that Mac got targeted by the administration. He was set up to be kicked out because he set this blog up for me, and contributed to it on about half the postings.  Why else would they put a parking citation ticket on his car, when other people were given information printouts?

And knowing mac's medical condition,( he can't even walk around the building twice without needing a nap),  his disciplinary history (none in 2 years), Should be reason enough to give him 5 or 10 days out for the threats he WROTE down, (LMAO).  How can anyone feel threatened by that fat tush? Sorry Mac, but you are just a big fat blob, who couldn't hurt a flee without needing a rest after 30 seconds, and these idiots thought you were going to hurt them? Ha ha, well, to me it serves as proof you were targeted for political reasons.

I mean, if you really wanted to hurt someone, would you give them warning that you were going to do it? NO. You would wait patiently for the right opportunity to pound on them (or do what ever).. without warning.
I cannot believe those morons actually think you are a threat.  But then again, you do understand why they took your writings seriously, right Mac?

 They know they are pissing off the veterans, and more and more people are getting angry and sooner or later someone is going blow up and when they do.. oh... run for the hills because someone is going to get hurt badly.

Well, is it a fact that Sara Dunne is a college graduate?  Does that mean she is intelligent or just another highly educated idiot? I'm starting to think its the latter, as her actions are telling us a different story than that which is being put out by the papers or the media.

It doesn't take a lot of smarts to run the kitchens, but the current blondie in there can't seem to do it.
But it does take a lot to run the veterans home. And Sara, you were unqualified to do so when you stepped into the job, and are STILL unqualified to run it.

You cannot run a home when your attitude is negative, because you think the veterans are all there because they are looking for a handout. 

And your administration has completely forgotten why the Dorm unit exists.. TO help veterans, which you are not doing at all! There is no help for those with social problems, or depression, or minor mental health problems.. Nor any help for those who have drinking problems.. you just kick them out of the home. That has been your solution for the last year.

You got rid of Mac, but I am still here, and I won't give up until you are gone.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Diana Knoll's 15 minutes of Fame.

Andy Warhol said everyone deserves 15 minutes of Fame, and after being accused of mentioning Dianna Knoll in this blog, I decided to actually do it.

But for the record, I set this blog up for someone else who used to be at the home. He does most of the postings. I 've done a few. And my name is Gregory.

On 21 Oct, 2012, the Veterans home started imposing its parking policy on all people at the home, and one of the security people put a parking citation ticket on my car, because it was parked out front near the chapel entrance. I took it the wrong way and managed to get myself kicked out of the place on the day of my 2 year anniversary. First offense in 2 years, and wala, I am a free man once again - but with a mark on his record that I am going to fight.

In the mean time, I have decided to write this about Diana, seeing how she seems to want to be written about.  For those who do not know who I am writing about, Diana is the activities person for the Dorm unit.

In the 2 years I was at the home, I have had only 2 issues with the activities people. The first was when I was accused of crashing the homes internet computer system while downloading text files. The other was the way Diana chose people to go on trips. That last issue was brought up repeatedly at Dorm Council meetings before I arrived there, and was still an issue when I wrote it up for my own reasons. The veterans never did get a proper response from the staff about it. So most gave up trying.

Over all I am pleased with the efforts of Diana and the other activities staff. Due to recent cutbacks in this last year, many Activities people were required to do more and more with less, and work on more than one unit. I think Diana has 3 units shes working on now, and yet she still manages to arrange about 20 or so trips or activities each month for people in the Dorm unit.

As the holidays approach she will be busy as any Santa Elf, putting together Christmas activities for the various units. For the Dorm unit, there are the usual Christmas day gifts, and a unit party, where an outside group comes in and donates food and gifts to the veterans of  the Dorm unit. I attended 2 of those functions and both were down right fun and the food they gave us was outstanding. I think one year we had real fried chicken, with real mashed potatoes and corn, and hot buttered rolls. The next one, if I remember right, we had real sloppy joes, and chips with dip  - things we do not get at the main dining hall at the home. And the group that comes in gives gifts out to the vets.
   The first year, they gave out a large number of DVD players, and a dozen or so VIP Tiger baseball tickets where they took the members to a Tigers game in Detroit ( or where ever it is).  They did the Tigers thing again the next year and gave a bunch of other gifts out too. Many of us expressed our thanks to the group that came in, and when a thank you card was passed around, made sure we signed it.
  I was looking forward to going to that party again this year, but nope.. not again.oh well.

The fact of the matter is, is that when people talk about the current deteriorating conditions at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, and bad staff and things like that, you rarely hear them complain about the activities staff, other than it seems that some activities are being canceled too often.
   You are more likely to hear someone complain about a nurse, or a care giver than one of the many activities people or activities helpers. It takes a person with the right attitude to be an activities person, and this place has those people - if it can keep them.

Another hipocrit speaks out.

As usual, you have no idea what you are talking about. You really should get your facts straight before you print your lies. I contacted the "security jerk", you mentioned that you took photos of. It seems that other people were parked in spots that belonged to the members. He was asked by the members if they could get those vehicles out of there. So once again, you print crap without knowing the facts. Maybe you should step into reality before you starting running your mouth. All you are doing is printing false information without even finding out what is happening. You are a poor excuse for a reporter. Try collecting the facts before you accuse people. All your doing is printing your own thoughts, and as everyone can see, you need help. Good luck with that!!!

OK Mike, challenge accepted.

Look at this photo. 

The BLUE areas, are those areas designated for Member parking.  The incident I wrote about was in the area marked by RED. The little 4 spot lot, that has until recently been filled daily by Dwight Furgusan, (SP?) one of the Dormitory unit Social workers, and volunteers who worked in the clothing room. 
One member was parking his truck there, for a while but he moved out 2 weeks ago (Bixby).

There was one handicap spot - you saw the picture of that car with the handicap tag hanging from their windshield.

In the time I have been at the home, I was always told that lot was for the volunteers who ran the clothing room, and for anyone with a handicap sticker or plate..

But to be sure, I asked around. I asked Randy, Randy (we have 3 of them), Bill, Tony, Steve (Dom unit council president), and several others and they all told me the same thing.. Some said that lot was for the people who ran clothing, others did not know what it was for, but all of them said the only places for members parking were the back small lot and the first row in the big lot (as indicted by the BLUE lines).

Now mike, who has their facts wrong, and who is spewing lies? Mike, you are just someone full of hate, and anger who needs some counseling.. I suggest you try the VA clinic next door.

Oh Mike, that first row of cars you see in this photo? by the blue line? Only 1 is a member car. The rest are employee and staff cars - parked in member parking.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Time to Put up or shut up Mike Martin.

This is a comment someone left, that I have posted to the original message.

 Comment by Mike Martin:
"As a fellow veteran, I think your behavior is a disgrace. You have your own weaknesses and flaws and instead of addressing them, you chose to print lies and attack other people. Most of the time your information isn't even correct. You do not represent the members at the Home, you only represent yourself. You need to grow up, plain and simple. Try acting like a Vet some time. See if you can change and at least have respect for yourself. Stop using your blogs for self pity. Most of the members do not even realize you have this blog, so stop painting yourself as a man of the people. Learn how to be a man first and then maybe you can help others."  comment on the post called Vets home still harrassing legaly parked car owners 

Ok Mike.. Tell me what is a lie? Which one? Which article. Submit the correction Mike. No one else has even tried, you can be the first. Come on Mike, help me make this blog 100 percent correct. Oh by the way, we had 989 hits last month. Have you read the comments? Even family members are now reading this blog.
Many are concerned over the abuses going on here. And that's why this thing exists. To expose the abuses.

I personally witnessed that so called security guard writting down the tag numbers of those cars in the small parking lot and putting one of those tow warning printouts on the van's window wipers.. How do you think I got the pictures if I wasn't watching him do it?

A handicap van parked in a handicap spot is LEGAL, and the owner does not need to be threatened with towing. Threatening to have it towed is HARASSMENT no matter how you look at it.

So it seems to me Mike, that you are the one that needs to grow up.   Or, as this post says, Put up or shut up. You make claims you cannot back up. All the claims here, in this blog, are backed up and many with the very pictures needed to back them up.

So be warned: The veterans here are tired of being harassed and are now watching you.

Veterans ombudsman - Useless according to vets.

I was informed today, that a member veteran at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans has used the chain of command to address a grievance and has been snubbed by the very person appointed to help him.

Earnie Meyers (SP?), was appointed Ombudsman by James Dunn, the assistant deputy director of veterans' affairs in the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs headquarters office. 

The only time Earnie Meyers shows up at the Vets home is for board meetings. 

The conflict of interest exists with Earnie Meyers as he is also Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Veterans home.  

Apparently this Veteran member had a meeting set up with Earnie and the board.. And Earnie who said he had a win - win solution, never showed up for the meeting. And the member veteran also says the other board members didn't even know why they were having a meeting that day.

Time to shut this place down and for Michigan to hang its head low in shame, as it admits it doesn't care for its veterans anymore.

Vets home still harrassing legaly parked car owners.

What else do you call this? Securitys job is fire watch, not parking police.
This morning we saw this security jerk nosing around peoples parked cars, putting these harassment notices on cars parked properly in their proper place..  This must end.. Lawyers are being contacted.
Veterans are on vigilance. We will not tolerate our property being stolen from us. 

daily filled lot

Security messing with cars parked properly

Security man doing the dirty deed

With Handicap authorization in a handicap spot

This is the harassment notice on a legally parked car.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Veterans Home threatening to tow resident Veterans Cars.

I went out back for a smoke this afternoon and talked to a bunch of the guys sitting at a picnic table over by the 6 gas grills.

Seems the home is now threatening to tow member veterans vehicles and one members vehicle has been ordered to be removed from the property.

J's truck has been broke down for 6 years and has sat in the back lot without being messed with. J is fighting for disability, and has no income to get his truck repaired.

G's Car is insured, plated, and he parks it out front in front of the chapel entrance because of his medical condition he cannot carry heavy things, nor regular things very far.

The Veterans home has a parking policy that members are to park in a small back lot, and the first row of the main lot located in back of the complex.  However, the small back lot has government vehicles from the VA Clinic taking up spaces, and the first row of the main lot, has employees parking there most of the time, thus not leaving any room for the members cars.

So far the home is NOT enforcing its parking limits on the Government and employees cars, but IS threatening to have members vehicles towed and this is NOT right.

And how are they supposed to get them back? Most of these members have zero income or limited on disability income. The home takes all of that but 100 dollars a month. Non income people get 5 dollars a week, or 20 bucks a month.  Their cars are usually that last thing they own before they become totally indigent. Many dump all their money into them trying to get them fixed so that when it comes time, they can use them to leave here.

UNDERSTAND THIS: Threatening Member veterans with having their cars towed and impounded, for parking on the lots here, where they live, can only be HARASSMENT of Veterans. 

There is no reason for the home to be playing these games with these veterans' property. SHAME on Sara Dunn and her Administration for allowing this to happen.

Members lot south side with Fed Cars parked in it
Former Dormitory member council president George Merrit told me that they had this problem before, where cars from the VA clinic were parking in the members lot, taking up spaces.. and when the home finally cracked down on it, it only lasted a week.

He also said that they have done this before. And now believes the only reason they are threatening members again is because some formed that non profit organization, called Veterans for Justice.

Members Lot North side, all full.

Members first row, main lot,  filled with employee cars.

Government cars in members lot

argue with this tag.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Who are they asking for, themselves or the veteranss?, has a story about a business collecting things for the veterans at the veterans home.

"Grand Rapids business to collect items for Grand Rapids Home for Veterans"

The story goes on to tell about a company that will collect items for the home, and has a page link so that you can go and see a list of what is needed.

The list contains the usual items - but is missing some critical items. Larger sizes for the bigger vets who are overweight and in powered wheel chairs usualy wear sizes 4x and up.. they are not listed.

And 2 items seem out of place on the list. 
"Small electronics (extreme need to replace decade-old models)
  • Digital cameras (Looking for quantity of six Nikon COOLPIX S6300 Black 16 Megapixel Digital Camera – 26301, approximately $170 each)
  • GPS devices (Looking for quantity of three TomTom GO Live 1535M dash-mount GPS units, approximately $200 each)"

One of the members contacted the company and inquired. He sent me his emails, and the company said the GPS units were for the Home's vans.  Strange.. what vans? We have buses, not vans. And they go to the same places every day.  So why do they need GPS units? The new bus has one built in and the driver doesn't even know how to use it.   These items should be part of the transportation budget, not as a donated item.

As for the cameras? Whose pocket are they going to go into? These items should be part of the activities budget.

Oh wait. DUH.. Dummy me.. I forgot. Acting administrator Sara Dunn has cut that stuff out of the budget to save Governor Rick some money from the states budget.. Thats' why they are begging for the items.

Shame on them.

I just hope those items don't end up in some employees car or purse, like the car-hart jackets that were donated for the veterans did.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Focus point; is this volunteer the center of a controversy that is bad for the Vets?

I do not like targeting specific people unless their case is so extreme that attention needs to be brought to it, so that needed changes can be applied and the situation corrected.

This controversy involves one man. Walt. The guy who collects all the items being donated to the home at the front welcome desk, and takes that stuff to a little office just a short skip down the hall where it is said, he sorts out the incoming donations.

This also the man involved with activities that holds "tournaments" of various kinds on Monday nights. Such tournaments have included: Pool, Texas hold em poker, shuffleboard, checkers, cribbage, and horse shoes.

One of the latest controversies surrounding this person is a new set of horse shoe pits.  We have 1 set of horse shoe pits that run parallel to the side walk on the back side of Rankin building. These pits get used 3 times a year when Walt has his tournament.

Recently a outside group gave a donation for the building of 3 professional regulation pits and what was actually created was a disaster and the people who made the donation are unhappy with what was built.

The fact is most people think the 3 new pits are a total waste of money and space, seeing how the old pit rarely got used at all.

Now besides tournaments, it is being reported that Walt was a Volunteer that recently has been HIRED by the home to work with the Activities department. it is reported tat he is an active member of an organization called Friends for Veterans, and the question of conflict of interest for him to be serving both.

Since walt is also the point man for all incoming donations to the home, some people are calling for an audit of all incoming items donated to the home that go thru Walt's little room, because many are NOT getting to the veterans.

And, I hate to say it, but I have heard from a dozen  people or more, that Walt himself has been caught taking home, donated items meant for veterans.That is stealing.  And it is exactly what member veterans are saying happens to too many donated items. The items get donated but veterans never get them.

Several Dom Unit guys have asked about the truck load of new flat screen TV's? Where did they all go?
And the Carhart winter Jackets; why did staff get them when they were meant for veterans?

And that truck from "in the image". What items are being sent there, and are they being inventoried, so that we know what is being sent and where it came from? Many guys think the donated items that are in good or new condition are being re-routed to this truck, so that someone can sell the items to make money, instead of giving the items to the veterans. And they say that is why the new clothing room lacks any good inventory.

And Walt seems to be at the center of all of this.